Lee Health details two COVID-19 cases and how they are working to keep the public safe

COVID-19, Lee Health working to keep public safe
Posted at 11:24 PM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 16:42:26-04

LEE COUNTY. FLA — Fox 4 now has updates about the two confirmed cases of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in Lee County.

One person died Thursday evening, and now dozens of hospital workers are under close watch to make sure they don't also have the illness.

Fox 4 spoke to local healthcare leaders about what they are doing to keep you safe.

Officials at Lee Health say they have been preparing for the potential outbreak for months, and that they are equipped and ready to protect the community and limit any further outbreak.

Lee Health President & CEO, Dr. Larry Antonucci says, Wednesday afternoon two patients were admitted into the intensive care unit after showing symptoms of respiratory distress.

“Both patients are elderly and have underlying health conditions,” said Dr. Antonucci.

Like many cases popping up in the United States, both patients had recently traveled abroad.
They were immediately tested for the coronavirus.

“On Thursday morning one of those patients died, ” said Dr. Antonucci.

Doctors say they sent the samples to a CDC testing center in Miami.

“It is a standard nasal swab and a mouth swab, ” said Dr. Antonucci.

Results can take up to 48 hours, which is why hospital staff say they didn't notify the public until late Friday evening.

Fox 4 spent much of Friday working to confirm reports of coronavirus in Lee County.

We even questioned Governor Ron DeSantis' office.
He spoke at a press conference in Collier County Friday, where he said there no new cases in Florida.

Lee Health is now working to inform all people who may have been in contact with the patients.

“We have around thirty people that are between medium and high rise exposures,” said Infectious Disease specialist, Dr. Stephanie Stovall.

Several hospital employees have been forced to self-quarantine for the next 14 days.

“No Lee Health employees have shown signs of infection, but they have been isolated as a precaution and are being monitored closely, ” said Dr. Larry Antonucci.

Lee Health has provided an online forum for people who have questions or concerns regarding COVID-19.